Dieffenbacher (Eppingen, Germany) introduced at JEC Europe 2012 the PreformCenter, capable of fully automated production of dry, dimensionally stable 3-D carbon fiber preforms. As part of a complete production line in the high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) process, the PreformCenter can be configured for use in large and small batch production. Besides preform production, the HP-RTM line also includes the compression process and the related finishing steps for lightweight components. In addition, Dieffenbacher also presented its sheet molding compound (SMC) direct line. This direct process for producing thermoset material (D-SMC) enables less costly production of semifinished product.
Editor PickAutocomposites and the myth of $5/lb carbon fiber
The $5/lb line in the sand comes with a similar challenge that, ultimately, will determine the fate of carbon fiber in automotive: Manufacturability.